Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Innovative Cropping Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2022) | Viewed by 29072

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Vegetable Herbs, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 50A Doswiadczalna Str., 20-280 Lublin, Poland
Interests: agricultural practices of vegetables and herbal plants in field cultivation; the content of nutrients and biologically active ingredients with pro-health effects; sustainable crop production; organic agriculture; horticultural practice; irrigation of field crops; medicinal plants; secondary metabolites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Plant Production, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: plant production; soil quality; agriculture; environment factors
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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Quality of Vegetables and Medicinal Plants, Department of Vegetable and Herbal Crops, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Interests: medicinal and aromatic plants; plant production; crop modeling; isolation of bioactive compounds; phytochemistry; essential oils and volatile biogenic compounds; antioxidant activity; natural antimicrobial compounds; pharmacology of natural products; nanoemulsions; agricultural biochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Issues related to the production of safe and healthy food and herbal products play an important role in basic research in the vegetable production system. Raw materials of plant origin, due to their specific qualities and specific chemical properties, should be of high quality. The quality of the plant material is largely influenced by the natural growing environment, primarily the condition of the soil and climatic conditions. Due to the changing climate, it is extremely important to better understand the functions of nutrients and bioactive substances, in view of consumers' expectations regarding the quality of plant raw materials. For this reason, priority should be given to the development and application of new technologies that positively affect the parameters and quality characteristics of plant products. This Special Issue is focused on the ‘Enhanced Quality of Plant Materials from Field Crops.’ We welcome high quality submissions related to the improvement of plant agrotechnics and the post-harvest treatment of consumable and herbal raw materials. In particular, this will include new research focusing on all related topics, including vegetable, spice and medicinal plants, the improvement of plant quality, post-harvest consumer and herbal raw material processing, evaluation of the quality of plant raw materials and products, modern and more precise research methods, etc.

Dr. Andrzej Salata
Dr. Hector Moreno Ramón
Dr. Gaetano Pandino
Dr. Agnieszka Najda
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • vegetable plants
  • medicinal and aromatic plants
  • plant growth and development
  • plant nutrition
  • irrigation and fertilization
  • cover crops
  • organic farming
  • produce quality
  • nutraceutical properties
  • primary and secondary metabolism
  • pre- and post-harvest factors

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1918 KiB  
Article
Starch Bio-Synthetic Pathway Genes Contribute to Resistant Starch Content Differentiation in Bread Wheat
by Jinna Hou, Hui Deng, Yingdong Wang, Congcong Liu, Shenghui Geng, Wenxu Li, Maomao Qin, Ziju Dai, Xia Shi, Pan Yang, Baoming Tian, Wen Yao, Zhengqing Wu, Zhensheng Lei and Zhengfu Zhou
Agronomy 2022, 12(12), 2967; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12122967 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1954
Abstract
Resistant starch (RS) is a special group of starches which are slowly degraded and rarely digested in the gastrointestinal tract. It was recognized as a new type of dietary fiber that improved cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and intestinal health. Breeding high-RS-content wheat is one of [...] Read more.
Resistant starch (RS) is a special group of starches which are slowly degraded and rarely digested in the gastrointestinal tract. It was recognized as a new type of dietary fiber that improved cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and intestinal health. Breeding high-RS-content wheat is one of the most efficient and convenient approaches for providing an adequate amount of RS for a healthy diet. However, studies which aim to genetically illustrate RS content in wheat are still rare. In the present study, a panel of 207 wheat varieties were collected world-wide and planted under three locations. The RS content of each variety was measured, and 14 additive genetic loci were found to stably exist under more than two environments. Meanwhile, four genes were recognized as the putative candidates with annotated functions of β-amylase, α-1,4 glucan phosphorylase, sucrose transporter, and NAC domain protein. A kompetitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) marker was developed from the SNP AX-94546744, representing the genetic locus of β-amylase located. The AX-94546744-T allele can significantly increase the RS content compared to the AX-94546744-C allele. The genetic loci and KASP marker associated with RS content may be useful for wheat germplasm cultivation and variety breeding with a high RS content, further helping to improve the nutritional quality in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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16 pages, 609 KiB  
Article
Response of Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) to Silver and Gold Nanoparticles as a Function of Concentration and Length of Exposure
by Magdalena Tomaszewska-Sowa, Karol Lisiecki and Dariusz Pańka
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2885; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112885 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
There is a growing demand for high quality and sustainable food in the world and this need falls within the context of the European Green Deal’s strategy “From Farm to Fork”. In order to achieve these outcomes, the use of modern and innovative [...] Read more.
There is a growing demand for high quality and sustainable food in the world and this need falls within the context of the European Green Deal’s strategy “From Farm to Fork”. In order to achieve these outcomes, the use of modern and innovative technologies of plant production and protection is required. The use of nanoparticles (NPs) in agriculture and horticulture is an example of such technology. However, research on the effect of length of exposure to metal nanoparticles on seeds germination and seedlings development are limited in the literature. In our study, the effect of silver (AgNPs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the seedling growth and biochemical response of rapeseed after 7, 14 and 21 days was analyzed. In the experiments, 0, 50 and 100 ppm concentrations of NPs were used in vitro. The level of photosynthetic pigments, anthocyanins as well as other stress parameters, such as free phenolic compounds, free sugars or H2O2, decreased due to the application of both AgNPs and AuNPs at the initial culture period; however, the differences were observed in the successive weeks of exposure. The parameters were increasing, irrespective of the kind of nanoparticles; however, as for the content of free sugars and free radicals, higher values were recorded due to the effect of AuNPs. Our results showed that length of plants exposure to NPs is very important factor modifying growth and final response of seedlings. Better understanding of its influence could speed up use of NPs in agriculture and horticulture for production of high-quality plant material (e.g., to seed priming, stimulation of seedlings’ growth and their protection), not contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers and mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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16 pages, 2053 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Alexandrian Clover Living Mulch on the Yield, Phenolic Content, and Antioxidant Capacity of Leek and Shallot
by Andrzej Sałata, Renata Nurzyńska-Wierdak, Andrzej Kalisz and Héctor Moreno-Ramón
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2602; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112602 - 23 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
The use of living mulches (LM) grown in-season together with the cash crop is a potentially important method of organic vegetable production. There are only a few reports on the influence of LM on the biological value of vegetable crops. The impacts of [...] Read more.
The use of living mulches (LM) grown in-season together with the cash crop is a potentially important method of organic vegetable production. There are only a few reports on the influence of LM on the biological value of vegetable crops. The impacts of LM of Alexandrian clover on the yields and levels of phenolic compounds in leeks and shallots were investigated. There were three sowing dates for the clover plants: 3 weeks before planting the leeks and shallot, at the planting date, and three weeks from planting the leeks and shallots. The yields of leeks and shallots with LM were higher than without the clover LM; the plants grown with LM accumulated more total phenolic (TP) compounds, and the plant extracts showed significantly higher antioxidant activity (AA). In shallot bulbs, the LM of Alexandrian clover increased the ferulic acid and chlorogenic acid levels, while in leek pseudo-stems the quercetin level was increased. The level of bioactive compounds depended on the date of clover planting. The most favorable sowing dates for clover planting were at the time of planting the leeks and shallots and three weeks after planting the plants. The LM of Alexandrian clover can be considered as a tool that can influence the nutritional value of leeks and shallots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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11 pages, 2170 KiB  
Article
Ultrasonic Treatment Enhances Germination and Affects Antioxidant Gene Expression in Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr)
by Ayoob Obaid Alfalahi, Bushra Shaker Alobaidy, Ahmed Abdulwahid Almarie, Omar Mahmood Dhanoon, Jamal Ragheb Qasem, Ali Fadaam Almehemdi and Agnieszka Najda
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102446 - 9 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
Ultrasound technology has been recently used to enhance and increase seed germination with no negative effect on seedling development. This study investigated the effects of ultrasound exposure for 10, 20, and 30 min on seed germination, seedling growth, and gene expression of three [...] Read more.
Ultrasound technology has been recently used to enhance and increase seed germination with no negative effect on seedling development. This study investigated the effects of ultrasound exposure for 10, 20, and 30 min on seed germination, seedling growth, and gene expression of three soybean varieties grown under glasshouse conditions. Ultrasonic treatments showed different effects on most of the studied traits compared with the untreated controls. Ultrasonic exposure increased germination percentage, root and shoot lengths, seedling dry matter, and vigor index of the three soybean varieties. Antioxidant gene expression was examined in the seedling tissues and indicated a significant stimulatory effect of ultrasonication on catalase and superoxide dismutase antioxidant gene expression. Scanning electron microscopy results showed multiple changes in soybean varieties. Seed coat rupturing appeared as pores and cracks on the waved seed coat and possibly increased seed germination. Soybean varieties revealed different abilities to germinate, grow, and develop, as well as different antioxidant gene expression in response to ultrasound treatments. In light of the results obtained, ultrasonication can be widely used to include other crops that face serious challenges in germination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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12 pages, 856 KiB  
Article
Dynamics of Drying Turmeric Rhizomes (Curcuma longa L.) with Respect to Its Moisture, Color, Texture and Quality
by Gobinda Saha, Amit Baran Sharangi, Tarun Kumar Upadhyay, Lamya Ahmed Al-Keridis, Nawaf Alshammari, Nadiyah M. Alabdallah and Mohd Saeed
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061420 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 4657
Abstract
Drying involves removing moisture from food. Therefore, to preserve the phenolic and bioactive compounds such as curcumin, dimethoxy curcumin and bisdemethoxi curcumin, etc., an efficient drying method is considered necessary. The primary drying methods are sun drying, hot air oven drying and fluidized [...] Read more.
Drying involves removing moisture from food. Therefore, to preserve the phenolic and bioactive compounds such as curcumin, dimethoxy curcumin and bisdemethoxi curcumin, etc., an efficient drying method is considered necessary. The primary drying methods are sun drying, hot air oven drying and fluidized bed drying. Traditional drying methods result in the loss of volatile oil (up to 25%) by evaporation and destruction of some light-sensitive oil constituents. Three methods of drying Turmeric with pretreatments boiled/unboiled and whole/sliced (2.5 cm long) were compared on physical and quality parameters. Texture analysis from sundry sliced boiled rhizomes achieved maximum peak force (45.40 kg), which was an indication of maximum uniform drying. Moisture content was strongly and significantly associated with drying time in different drying methods. Out of the three drying methods, in general, the sun drying showed a declining trend of L*, a* and b* values with drying time. Whereas a slower rate of decrease in L*, a* and b* values was predominant in the oven dry method. Interestingly, in the case of the fluidized method, almost static L*, a* and b* values were measured at 3 h of drying onwards after a declining trend of those values. In the case of sun and oven drying, the hue angle reached its peak at the fourth hour of drying, then gradually declined up to final drying. However, for fluidized bed drying, it had a continuous declining trend for other parameters such as chroma and total color change; there was a sharp decreasing trend for all throughout. Turmeric whole boiled dried in the sun produced the maximum curcumin (5.82%) and the sliced boiled ones produced the maximum oleoresin (8.10%), indicating good quality powdered product among all other drying treatments. Considering all the aspects, it is recommended that sun drying should be followed in post-harvest operations, as it produces a quality powder with comparatively more curcumin, despite its longer drying time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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24 pages, 2286 KiB  
Article
No Effect of Biostimulants on the Growth, Yield and Nutritional Value of Shallots Grown for Bunch Harvest
by Anna Francke, Joanna Majkowska-Gadomska, Zdzisław Kaliniewicz and Krzysztof Jadwisieńczak
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051156 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
Shallots (Allium cepa L. Aggregatum group) are cultivated on small areas, mostly to harvest mature bulbs with dry scales. Due to their exceptional taste and nutritional value, and a short growing season, they can also be grown for early bunch harvest. New [...] Read more.
Shallots (Allium cepa L. Aggregatum group) are cultivated on small areas, mostly to harvest mature bulbs with dry scales. Due to their exceptional taste and nutritional value, and a short growing season, they can also be grown for early bunch harvest. New shallot cultivation strategies are being sought to meet consumers’ growing expectations regarding the quality of vegetables, and their increasing awareness of global food safety. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of selected biostimulants on the biometric parameters, yield and nutritional value of shallot bulbs and leaves. The experimental factors were as follows: two biostimulant types—Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Goëmar Goteo (GG), two shallot cultivars—Bonilla F1 and Matador F1, grown for bunch harvest, and year of the study. Shallot leaves had a higher content of L-ascorbic acid, reducing sugars and nitrates than bulbs. Young bulbs had a higher content of DM and total sugars than leaves. The leaves and bulbs of shallot plants treated with EM accumulated the highest amounts of minerals. Macronutrient ratios were closer to optimal in shallot leaves than bulbs. The nitrate content of bulbs was inversely proportional to the nitrate content of leaves. Therefore, an increase in the nitrate content of leaves by around 330% led to an approximately 40% decrease in the nitrate content of bulbs. The correlations between the parameters of the chemical composition of shallots and shallot leaves show that the increase in the dry matter content of the bulbs (by approx. 60%) was accompanied by an increase in the L-ascorbic acid content in the leaves (by approx. 240%). The use of biostimulants in the cultivation of A. cepa L. Aggregatum group contributed to the reduction of L-ascorbic acid content in bulbs and had no positive effect on the leaves. Moreover, no positive effect of biostimulants on the reduction of nitrate content in shallot leaves and bulbs was observed, which is undesirable from the consumer’s point of view. After the use of biopreparations, the yield of shallots was lower than that of the control—by approx. 14% (EM) and approx. 4% (GG). Therefore, the measurable benefits of biostimulants in the cultivation of shallots grown for early bunch harvest do not balance the costs of their purchase and use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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20 pages, 3730 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Strawberries’ Quality Parameters Using Artificial Neural Networks
by Tiziana Amoriello, Roberto Ciccoritti and Patrizia Ferrante
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040963 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2662
Abstract
Strawberry is a very popular fruit, appreciated for its unique flavor and many beneficial traits such as antioxidants and useful amino acids, which strongly contribute to the overall quality of the product. Indeed, the quality of fresh fruit is a fundamental aspect for [...] Read more.
Strawberry is a very popular fruit, appreciated for its unique flavor and many beneficial traits such as antioxidants and useful amino acids, which strongly contribute to the overall quality of the product. Indeed, the quality of fresh fruit is a fundamental aspect for consumers, and it is crucial for the success of breeding activities as well as for enhancing the competitiveness and profitability of the fruit industry. Nowadays, the entire supply chain requires simple and fast systems for quality evaluation. In this context, the pomological and chemical traits (i.e., soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, dry matter) as well as nutritional ones such as total phenols, total anthocyanins and antioxidant potential were evaluated and compared for seven strawberry cultivars and three harvest times. The prediction of the qualitative traits was carried out using color space coordinates (L*, a* and b*) and two statistical techniques, i.e., the multiple linear regression models (MLR) and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Unsatisfactory prediction performances were obtained for all parameters when MLR was applied. On the contrary, the good prediction of the internal quality attributes, using ANN, was observed, especially for both antioxidant activity and the total monomeric anthocyanin (R2 = 0.906, and R2 = 0.943, respectively). This study highlighted that color coordinates coupled with ANN can be successfully used to evaluate the quality of strawberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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17 pages, 1091 KiB  
Article
Effects of Organic Cropping on Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity of Globe Artichoke Herbs
by Andrzej Sałata, Renata Nurzyńska-Wierdak, Andrzej Kalisz, Edward Kunicki, Sara Ibáñez-Asensio and Héctor Moreno-Ramón
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010192 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Artichoke herb is of great pharmaceutical importance, mainly due to the high content of phenolic compounds. This paper presents the effect of late nitrate (N) fertilization with mineral and organic N on the yield of air-dried herb, the total content of polyphenolic acids [...] Read more.
Artichoke herb is of great pharmaceutical importance, mainly due to the high content of phenolic compounds. This paper presents the effect of late nitrate (N) fertilization with mineral and organic N on the yield of air-dried herb, the total content of polyphenolic acids (TCQA), the polyphenolic profile as well as on the antioxidant activity (AA). These parameters were measured in organic (ORG) and conventional (CON) cropping systems. The principal outcomes revealed that the highest TCQA content was determined in the herbal extracts of ORG management treatments with late N fertilization of 20 kg ha−1. This result explained the highest AA content of the extract in the ABTS+ (2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)), FRAP (ferric-reducing antioxidant power), and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) assays. Late N fertilization increased the content of cynarin and ferulic acid in both systems. In addition, chlorogenic acid increased between 37% and 45% in the CON cropping systems depending on the fertilizer dose. In the same treatment, luteolin increased 39% compared to the control. Lastly, in the ORG management system, caffeic acid and apigenin content increased 10% and 30%, respectively. Both treatments showed high collinearity values, where ORG systems were related to ferulic acid and cynarin, and CON systems were associated with chlorogenic acid and AA potential (ABTS, DPPH, FRAP). To sum up, ORG cropping systems can obtain an acceptable yield size with a high-quality content of bioactive compounds, allowing a better understanding of the effect of N fertilization in ORG and CON cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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11 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Do AMF and Irrigation Regimes Affect Sweet Pepper Fruit Quality under Open Field Conditions?
by Renata Nurzyńska-Wierdak, Halina Buczkowska and Andrzej Sałata
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2349; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112349 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a mycorrhizal inoculation (AMF) and irrigation regime on certain yield morphological parameters and the biological value of fruits of open field-grown sweet pepper under temperate climate conditions. A study on the Polish [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a mycorrhizal inoculation (AMF) and irrigation regime on certain yield morphological parameters and the biological value of fruits of open field-grown sweet pepper under temperate climate conditions. A study on the Polish hybrid cultivar ‘Roberta F1’ was conducted over the period 2016–2018 in a private certified organic farm. Sweet pepper was harvested at physiological maturity from the second 10 days of August to the first 10 days of October. AMF and irrigation were shown to significantly modify the selected morphological parameters of the peppers. Fruits with the highest weight, length, and width were harvested from AMF-inoculated plants, both irrigated and non-irrigated ones. The chemical composition and antioxidant activity (AA) of pepper fruit extracts were significantly affected by AMF and irrigation. AMF application contributed to a decrease in the percentage of dry matter, vitamin C, reducing sugars, extract, carotenoids, and AA. Irrigation, on the other hand, had a beneficial effect on enhancing the biological value of pepper fruits (except for vitamin C), also increasing their AA. The highest levels of carotenoids (4.64 mg 100 g−1 of fresh matter (FM) were found in the fruits of irrigated plants without AMF, whereas the highest levels of vitamin C (134.10 mg 100 g−1 FM) were accumulated by the fruits of plants grown without AMF and without irrigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
20 pages, 1474 KiB  
Article
Different Temperature Regimes Influenced the Quality of Broccoli Seedlings, Which Caused a Change in the Chemical Composition of Mature Heads
by Andrzej Kalisz, Joanna Gil, Edward Kunicki, Agnieszka Sękara, Andrzej Sałata and Gianluca Caruso
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1806; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091806 - 8 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1917
Abstract
Exposure of vegetable seedlings to lowered temperature affects their growth and the content of certain chemical constituents. Chilling activates defensive mechanisms against stress and leads to acclimatization which increases plant ability to withstand harsh field conditions. Thus, seedlings subjected to low-temperature treatment had [...] Read more.
Exposure of vegetable seedlings to lowered temperature affects their growth and the content of certain chemical constituents. Chilling activates defensive mechanisms against stress and leads to acclimatization which increases plant ability to withstand harsh field conditions. Thus, seedlings subjected to low-temperature treatment had altered metabolic pathways, and these changes can persist until harvest. We therefore assessed: (i) the direct response of broccoli seedlings to 1 week or 2 weeks at lowered temperatures (6 °C, 10 °C, 14 °C, and 18 °C—control); and (ii) the long-term effects of the latter treatments on phytochemical components level in mature heads of broccoli cultivated in the field. Chilling stress decreased seedling shoot and root fresh and dry weights, plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, leaf perimeter, and leaf width. The most spectacular reductions in these parameters were observed at 6 °C and 10 °C. Longer exposure to lowered temperature resulted in greater reduction in the values of morphological traits. Chilling led to reduction in L-ascorbic acid content in broccoli seedlings, while a 6 °C temperature caused an increase in soluble sugars. The highest content of dry weight, soluble sugars, and L-ascorbic acid were observed in the heads of plants exposed to 14 °C; however, the content of dry weight (at 10 °C) and L-ascorbic acid (at 6 °C and 10 °C) also increased in broccoli heads in comparison with the control. Longer chilling (for 2 weeks) generally increased the content of these constituents in mature broccoli. Lower temperature (6–14 °C) applied at seedling stage increased P and Zn contents in broccoli heads in comparison to the control, whereas plants treated with 10 °C had more K, Fe, and, together with 6 °C treatment, Cu. The lowest temperature applied to the seedlings (6 °C) caused an increase in Mn content, while no effects of seedling chilling was noted for Ca levels. Significant linear correlations were noted and regression models were developed for the content of dry weight, soluble sugars, and L-ascorbic acid in the broccoli heads based on the chosen seedling parameters. The results show that the effect of lowered temperature to which the seedlings were subjected persists also in the further stages of plant ontogenesis, causing permanent changes in the chemical composition of mature broccoli heads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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23 pages, 3493 KiB  
Article
Effects of Plant Covers and Mulching on the Biometric Parameters, Yield and Nutritional Value of Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa Brot. Ex Hornem.)
by Joanna Majkowska-Gadomska, Emilia Mikulewicz and Anna Francke
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1742; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091742 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2576
Abstract
The aim of this study, which involved a field experiment conducted in north-eastern Poland, is to evaluate the phytometric parameters, yield, and biological value of fruit of three tomatillo cultivars grown in soil mulched with black PE (polyethylene) film and covered with PE [...] Read more.
The aim of this study, which involved a field experiment conducted in north-eastern Poland, is to evaluate the phytometric parameters, yield, and biological value of fruit of three tomatillo cultivars grown in soil mulched with black PE (polyethylene) film and covered with PE film and non-woven PP (polypropylene) fabric. A two-factor field experiment was conducted in 2015 and 2017–2018 in the Agricultural Experiment Station owned by the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. In the control treatment, tomatillo plants were grown without protective covers or mulch. Tomatillo fruits were harvested gradually, upon physiological maturity, which was determined based on changes in the color of the peel and calyx, and the aroma. The growth and development of tomatillos were evaluated based on plant measurements performed in the field. The chemical composition of tomatillo fruits was analyzed at the stage of full fruiting. During the three-year study, the weight, vertical diameter, and horizonal diameter of fruit were highest in cv. ‘Rio Grande Verde’ and lowest in cv. ‘Purple’. The combined use of mulch and plant covers accelerated fruit ripening. The total and marketable yields of tomatillo fruit were highest in cv. ‘Rio Grande Verde’ and lowest in cv. ‘Purple’. The fruit of cv. ‘Purple’ had the highest content of dry matter, total sugars, extract, β-carotene, and total polyphenols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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18 pages, 1023 KiB  
Article
Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization and Fungicide Application at Heading on the Gluten Protein Composition and Rheological Quality of Wheat
by Viola Landolfi, Giovanna Visioli and Massimo Blandino
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091687 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Optimizing the bread-making quality properties of flour is currently one of the main aims of the bakery industry. Therefore, this study has investigated the effects of N fertilization and fungicide application at wheat heading on the protein content (GPC), gluten composition and rheological [...] Read more.
Optimizing the bread-making quality properties of flour is currently one of the main aims of the bakery industry. Therefore, this study has investigated the effects of N fertilization and fungicide application at wheat heading on the protein content (GPC), gluten composition and rheological properties of wheat. Field experiments were carried out in North-West Italy over a 3 year period, on a high protein cultivar of soft winter wheat. Grain samples were collected for each agronomic treatment at four ripening timings, from the milk stage to the final combine harvesting, and the contents of the different gluten fractions were quantified. The late N fertilization increased the GPC (+1.2%) and dough strength (W) (+22%) as a result of a similar enhancement of all the gluten protein fractions, while the fungicide application slightly reduced the GPC (−0.3%) and W (−4%), mainly because of a dilution of the gliadin content, due to the significantly higher grain yield (+8.6%) and thousand kernel weight (+5.5%). These agronomic practices did not modify the gluten composition significantly, expressed as the relative ratio between the gliadins (glia) and the high (HMW) and low (LMW) molecular weight glutenins (gs), and confirmed by the accumulation trend of the different protein fractions during ripening. The year resulted to have the most marked effect on the gluten protein fraction ratios and alveographic parameters. The lowest W was observed in 2015, and although the highest GPC was recorded for the same year, the lowest gs/glia ratio was also observed. Instead, 2016 showed the highest gs/glia and HMW-gs/LMW-gs (H/L) ratios, and also the highest P/L value (2.2). In 2015, a slightly higher temperature during the ripening stage resulted in a greater increase in the γ-gliadin enriched fraction than the α/β gliadin ones, and marked differences were noted in the rheological traits. This field experiment has highlighted the interactive role of environmental and agronomic factors on the content and quality of gluten proteins and their bread-making ability, thus making a further contribution to the development of an integrated crop strategy for the cultivation of high protein wheat in humid Mediterranean areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Product Quality of Plant Material from Field Crops)
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